Kaylie participated in her second race in three days on Sunday. The Bridge City Boogie. We’d never participated in this race before, and I purposely didn’t participate because Kaylie was with her school and I wanted it to be about her. In hindsight, I could have run *with* her, but I didn’t really know the logistics of everything.
I had a chat Sunday morning with Kaylie about how the race was about racing herself, going for her personal best, and not worrying about the other runners. Liliana butted in and said, “No! A race is about beating people! You have to beat people, Kaylie!”
She didn’t end up beating her three-days-earlier 5k personal best of 36:23, but that was mostly due to the fact that her Thursday race was open and spacious, and Sunday’s race was like trying to get somewhere fast in rush-hour traffic. It was insane. I don’t think I will ever participate in that race. Actually, I know I will not. There were 5,200 participants. When we saw Kaylie coming in to the last 200 metres or so, she was fighting (politely) to get by people. It was a traffic jam. I had a hard time finding her in the herd of people crossing the finish line at the same time as she did.
She had fun, though, and that’s really all that matters. Her final time was 36:37. She was kind of disappointed she didn’t beat her Thursday time, but I explained to her that was only three days earlier, and that this race was a little different. It seems to be more of a fun race rather than a race race. People had strollers all over the place, and the top 10k runners had to fight the 5k and 2k traffic to get to the finish line. It wasn’t a personal-best kind of race.
(To be clear, I didn’t have a problem with the fun part of the race. Just the ten million people part.)
The little kids had fun, though. There were bouncy castles, and one booth was giving away Saturn hats. Or, frisbees.
The parking situation was kind of disastrous, too. They shuttled everyone from a far-away parking lot to the race, but there was no shuttle back to the parking area. For real? It didn’t make sense. Noah made the long walk for us, and brought the van to where the shuttle had dropped us off earlier. He had to go through a couple areas he wasn’t supposed to, but Kaylie had a nosebleed and the younger two were a mess, and goodness, we’re seriously not doing that race again.
I spent the rest of the day in the garden. The weeds were taking over.
It’s amazing the difference the mulch makes. It doesn’t guarantee no weeds, but it sure cuts down on them a ton. Especially when I’ve laid down newspaper, like I did around the pumpkins and zucchinis. My friend Jess has craploads of leaves, and gave me a couple more bags (and some grass) on Sunday afternoon. I weeded all around the potatoes and then laid newspaper, wet it down, and covered it with leaves. The bigger mulch isn’t awesome around things like carrots and onions, but it’s absolutely perfect for bigger plants, and for pathways. And, by spring, it will be broken down a ton.
Check out the difference between last year’s mulch and this year’s mulch. It’s crazy that in only a year those dry leaves will be like that dark mulch.
Mulch sure doesn’t look pretty, does it?
Good thing I’m not going for a good-looking garden, but rather a good-producing one. The potatoes came up this week, and there are barely any weeds in the manure compost. Quite a few things are coming up, which is totally exciting, but some things are taking five hundred years to come up. I’ve had to replant a few things (a row of peas, carrots that were taken by ants), so hopefully they take.
The girls’ little gardens are coming up, too: Kaylie has peas and lettuce, Liliana has peas and also a bean plant she brought home from school. I love that they love to grow things, too.
I’m so impatient. This first part, waiting for things to come up, takes so long. But I know soon enough I’ll be battling giant pumpkin plants, and I’ll have more tomatoes than I know what to do with.
After the mulch was laid, I spent the rest of the day tackling those weeds that are peeking out through the back of the fence. I pulled about a million dandelions, many of which had root diameters of at least an inch. After all the big stuff was pulled, I sprayed the rest with a vinegar/salt/dish soap mixture. I have no idea if it will work or not, but if it does, I’m spraying it everywhere else unwanted things are growing. (Though not in the garden itself, obviously.)
Now here’s hoping everything else in the garden grows as well as the weeds.